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Analysts: More people are buying cars

Posted On Wed, February 2, 2011

If a Bloomberg analysis of buying trends is accurate, U.S. consumers kicked off the new year by buying lots of cars.

According to six analysts' projections compiled by Bloomberg, January vehicle deliveries ran at an annual rate of $12.6 million, making it the most profitable month for the car industry in over a year and a half, when the government instituted their "cash for clunkers" program.

Analysts for J.D. Power and Associates tell Bloomberg they expect Ford, GM and Chrysler to post gains for light-vehicle sales in the month of January. Even Toyota, which announced it was recalling 1.7 million worldwide late last month due to various defects, may report a 16 percent gain in January, according to analysts.

Foreign car sales were highest on the coasts, according to a study performed by TrueCar.com, as California and New York motorists bought more Toyotas and Hondas rather than Fords and Chryslers in 2010. Given the harsh winter weather causing more accidents on the roadways, particularly in the Northeast, this may translate to higher average auto insurance costs for foreign vehicles. 

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